An EU government data watchdog is 'engaging' with Facebook after it harvested 1.5 million users’ email contacts without consent (FB)

In this April 11, 2018, photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens to a question as he testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. Zuckerberg said Facebook will start to emphasize new privacy-shielding messaging services, a shift apparently intended to blunt both criticism of the company's data handling and potential antitrust action. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

  • Ireland’s top privacy regulator is in contact with Facebook about the social network’s collection of more than one million user email contacts without their consent.
  • Business Insider reported on Thursday that Facebook had harvested the contact information since 2016.
  • Facebook has said the move was “unintentional” and that it is deleting the data.
  • Visit for more stories.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has reached out to Facebook for information as it considers what steps to take about the revelation that Facebook harvested email contacts of 1.5 million users without their consent.

Business Insider reported on Wednesday that Facebook has collected the contact lists of 1.5 million users new to the social network. The Silicon Valley company said the contact data was “unintentionally uploaded to Facebook,” and it is now deleting it.

“We are currently engaging with Facebook on this issue and once we receive further information we will decide what steps to take,” Graham Doyle, the head of communications at the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) told Business Insider on Thursday. 

The Irish DPC is the official data regulator in the country, and under GDPR — the EU’s data protection law — it is responsible for handling all data protection issues relating to Facebook in the 28-country bloc.

Read Business Insider’s full report about Facebook’s collection of user email contacts here »

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